2021-11-21
Baltimore Ravens
Chicago Bears
League : NFL

Chicago Bears vs Baltimore Ravens Prediction & Preview



 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

 

The Baltimore Ravens, fresh off a shocking Thursday night football loss at Miami, heads into the Windy City to take on the Bears, coming off of a bye. The Bears have dropped their last four games including a tough loss in Pittsburgh but were encouraged by the growth of their rookie quarterback, Justin Fields. Game time is set for 1pm EST.

 

A Ravens' Rebound

The Ravens came into Thursday night's game at Miami at 6-2 and looking to establish themselves as the team to beat in the AFC. By the time the game was over, a 22-10 defeat, the team was searching for answers. Baltimore's streak of games with at least 14 points ended at 51, the second longest in NFL history. Quarterback, and Miami native, Lamar Jackson completed 26 of 43 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown pass to TE Mark Andrews but was harassed throughout the game by a team that the Ravens had dominated in recent years. With Jackson at QB, the Ravens had beaten Miami in their previous three meetings by a combined score of 137-16 score.

 

“We just played poorly and it's because of our coaching," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It starts with me. I didn't do a good job getting these guys ready."

Jackson's touchdown pass to Andrews in the second half cut the score to 15-10 and it appeared that the Ravens were on their way to taking control of the game. Instead, Miami reasserted itself. Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa, who was only playing due to an injury to Jacoby Brissett, found Albert Wilson for a 64-yard gain with about three minutes left to set the Dolphins up in goal to go position. It was the longest pass of Tagovailoa's career and the longest play of the season for the Dolphins as a team. Two plays later, Tagovailoa sneaked his way into the end zone to seal the upset win.

“We just didn't play a good football game," Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell said. “At the end of the day, they played better football than us today."

 

 

The Ravens were uncharacteristically dominated at the point of attack as Jackson was sacked four times on the day. The Dolphins blitzed the elusive QB regularly, mostly from the safety spot and the strategy proved successful. Jackson also through an interception in the red zone that slowed a potential Ravens' comeback. With ten days between games, the Ravens will certainly look to shore up these areas of concern as they head to Chicago. Jackson (sickness) is questionable for this game and if he can't go, former Utah hurler Tyler Huntley will go.

"We've got to go to work," Harbaugh said. "We've got to be a lot better."

 

Progress Showing

The Chicago Bears have lost four games in a row and find themselves at just 3-6 following their bye week. And yet, after a hard fought 29-27 loss at Pittsburgh, there is reason for optimism for the Bears. The reason is the growth that rookie quarterback Justin Fields showed in defeat. Fields engineered two 4th quarter drives as part of a 21 point Chicago 4th quarter and had the Bears within seconds of pulling off a huge road victory.

 

Trailing 26-20 with under three minutes to play, Fields went to work on what could be the first highlight of what many will see as his coming out party as the Bears' future quarterback. Fields took Chicago 75 yards in seven plays, ending the drive with a 16 yard strike to Darnell Mooney to put the Bears up 27-26 and in position for an upset. Unfortunately, Ben Roethlisberger guided the Steelers 52 yards in seven plays — abetted by Chicago's 12th penalty of the night — to set up Chris Boswell's 40-yard field goal with 26 seconds left, robbing Chicago of a 2nd road win.

Another penalty, a taunting call on linebacker Cassius Marsh, extended a Pittsburgh drive earlier that allowed the Steelers to take a 26-20 lead with 2:52 remaining. Marsh, who spent his training camp with the Steelers, tried to be diplomatic about the game turning call:

“It’s just sad to see stuff like that happen in a close game like that,” he said. "It’s just rough. I don’t want to say too much because you all know how it is.”

Ultimately, the Bears were done in by their litany of penalties. Chicago's dozen penalties included a pass-interference call that set up a Pittsburgh field goal and an illegal block in the second quarter that negated a 1-yard touchdown pass from Fields to Jimmy Graham. The Steelers, by comparison, were flagged six times for 30 yards.

“With 12 penalties, that’s too many,” Nagy said. “What it does is it pushes you back or gives them free yards. You want to stay away from penalties and I think we need to be better there.”

Nagy knows that, with the season getting late, there is not much time left for moral victories. The Bears will need to put together a series of wins to keep their playoff hopes alive.

“We lost,” Nagy said. "This is a team game. That’s what our guys care about. And we’ve got to figure it out.”

 







Your feedback is greatly appreciated!